I just found this thread three days ago, about the time that it has taken me to get to this final post. Go figure, because I JUST missed you (I live in Fort Worth). Wow, coincidence.
Your going to have to show me around though, I'm moving up to San Francisco over the summer (going there for new years actually) and own a new 796 myself - first Ducati ever and i'm LOVING it (saying 'ever' is not much I admit, i'm only 23).
I actually sort of see an older me in you, we are physically alike and also work from a computer in the digital industry. I know your almost done with the journey but this is something! Somehow, I now feel my two week Continental Divide ride this past summer was crap compared to this, might have to one up it here in the next couple of years I guess.
PS really enjoyed the whole 'fuck it' posts, being young everyone around me is starting to be just as you describe- having many, many, many excuses for nearly everything. And then of course, I seem to get 'lucky' because I am able to afford an R32, the new M769, and now have my own business... guess the harder you work the 'luckier' you get huh